Guest Post by Jenn Hearn.
As I kneeled in the grocery store isle to read the fine print of an item of interest, a cart bumped into me, nearly knocking me over. I glanced up in confusion at the older woman, who scowled, “I asked you to move.” I replied in the clearest voice I could muster, “Ma’am, I am Deaf.” She scowled again, “I said it three times” and held up three fingers for emphasis. “Ma’am,” I replied, “I was Deaf all three times.”
The problem with Deafness is that it is a hidden disability. One cannot simply glance at a d/Deaf person and see that they are deaf. The lack of sensitivity and Deaf awareness can lead to so many issues. Through my writing, I hope to use my own experiences as a Deaf person to become a voice for an underrepresented culture in modern media. Communication is a two way street. Through my written words I hope to inspire and continue to fuel the dialogue that will lead to a better partnership between Deaf Culture and our society. It is my hope that my efforts will lend a loud voice to help promote the needed changes in our society.
I am Jenn.
I am Deaf.
I am The Voice of the Modern Deaf Experience.
Hear me now.
Jenn Hearn attended an OpEd Project program at the University of Cincinnati.